In the News
July 6, 2021
Significance of South Dakota Governor Sending National Guard to Texas Border
Conditions for Violent Civil War in U.S. Growing
At the request of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, South Dakota Governor Kristi L. Noem is deploying up to 50 South Dakota National Guard troops to the southern U.S. border. She announced the deployment June 29, saying she was responding to Abbott’s call to augment border security with law enforcement resources from other states. The initial deployment will reportedly last 30 to 60 days, but Noem can extend it and add additional troops. She also said the deployment was being paid for by a private individual who is a mega donor billionaire and supporter of Trump and the ruling factions Trump represents, as are Abbott and Noem.
The deployment, though small in number, is significant in terms of states acting independent of the federal government on immigration matters. It indicates that governors, also representing vying factions among the rulers, are rejecting the compromise concerning armed forces reached at the time the Constitution was written. That compromise was that the ruling factions would not organize their own private armies but would accept one public army, the Continental Army, which is today U.S. military forces as a whole under the command of the President, as Commander-in-Chief, and thus the Pentagon. The state National Guard was to be mobilized within the state, such as for hurricanes, fires or other natural disasters. Each state has control of major armed forces in the form of that state’s National Guard, along with state-based policing forces. The governor of each state commands those forces, not the Pentagon. Out of state deployment involves the president, with consent of the governors, federalizing the state forces, so that the Pentagon commands. This has been done to send large numbers of National Guard to Iraq and Afghanistan, something usually reserved for active duty soldiers.
There are already about 4,000 troops from different states at the border, mostly federalized National Guard, along with some active duty soldiers. They were deployed by then President Trump in 2018 and put under the command of the Pentagon and they have remained ever since, now under Biden.
What the Texas and South Dakota Governors are now doing by positioning troops under their own direct command is a new development which will inevitably exacerbate the conflict which already exists between and within federal and state policing agencies, especially where the southern border and immigration are concerned. California, for example, refused to send forces to the border when Trump called for them.
Abbott already deployed the Texas National Guard to the Texas border with Mexico and Noem is now adding a contingent of South Dakota National Guard to that force. Since neither the Texas nor South Dakota National Guard are under the command of the Pentagon, they can carry out law enforcement activities like making arrests, detaining people, and so forth.
In addition, there are already private mercenary armies in the U.S., but they have generally remained under the command of the Pentagon, such as in Iraq, or other federal policing agencies. Even so, they represent the privatization of armed forces, operating directly for oligopolies, commonly with the backing and support of government policing agencies. Such forces have been used, for example, against Indigenous peoples, like water protectors at Standing Rock. In that respect, the ability of private armies controlled by oligopolies to act independent of and even against the federal government is part of the intense rivalries between the ruling factions.
The danger of violent civil war increases as these developments unfold. The vying ruling factions are striving to maintain their rule in conditions where their usual mechanisms for lessening the conflicts are not functioning, as this deployment indicates, as does the failure of elections to do so and the deepening dysfunction of Congress. They must also contend with the peoples everywhere rejecting their legitimacy and fighting for the rights of all, uniting against war and use of force.
In this situation, the rulers and their media are again trying to paint the problem as one of picking “the right side” — Biden or Trump, depending on which side is called “the right side.” Trump already visited the Texas governor and the border on June 30 with much effort made to arouse passions for one side or the other. The united efforts of the peoples, including those both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, as seen in El Paso and elsewhere, show that it is this striving for people’s empowerment that provides a way forward, not choosing sides among the rulers.
Awareness is growing amongst the people that they cannot afford to “pick a side” as they are urged to do. On the contrary, they must work out how to intervene to their own advantage, on the basis of their own aims for the country.